Happy Canada Day! :)
This is the way to spend the morning. We're looking at our options for excursions on the cruise ship! Did I forget to mention that we fly in SIX DAYS!! So far, we're going on a Chocolate tour in Belgium, A walking tour and cheese tour in the little town of Gouda in Holland, and a boat tour through the canals in Denmark. Ahhh happy days, happy days. This is the actual cruise we're on. The really cool thing is that the ship is sitting at the port in Southampton, UK right now! We're flying in to London and then taking the train to Southapmton. There is a webcam on the front of the ship, so you can even have a look at where we are! Its looking a little cloudy there this morning.
Eugene comes to visit
Worried about jet lag
So much to do today on my last day off before the trip. And yet, I want to just have a lazy relaxed day! I started by sleeping in until 10, which is rare! Next on the list is to go shopping for a new formal gown for the fancy nights on the ship. And a new pair of comfy sandals. Then bathroom and continuing house clean up as my mom and step dad are coming to stay and look after the cats and house. I think I made a mistake with not booking Thursday off. We fly out at 8:30pm to London, but it would have been nice to have the day to pack and putter around before leaving instead of working a hectic day! Hopefully the long weekend in both Canada and US keep people on holidays and I won't have too much to catch up on. Wishful thinking, yes!
I'm still a little worried about how I'll do with the jet lag. I don't imagine I'll sleep well on the flight to London, so we'll be tired when we land, but I worry that will catch up to me and I'll just want to sleep away the 3 days we have in London. Tod keeps saying not to worry and who cares if we have to lay low and catch up on sleep. But i don't want to waste those few days before we get on the boat! Maybe my MS can take a vacation and let me have one on my own this time?
In the past before I got my diagnosis, everytime we would travel I would get sick. Usually not long after landing and always when we got the hottest place on our trip. I could never understand it but it has just become the expectation. When I had asked my neurologist about that last year, he told me to stop going to hot places! MS and heat don't mix at all. It was a moment when Tod and I found that out and could explain why I was always feeling rotten when travelling. So, maybe this time I'll take more advantage of the A/C in the places we go and fair better. Europe can't be that hot in July! Ha ha ha.
All right, on with the day. Have a good Fourth of July my fellow Americans.
Look what happens when I go to work for the day!
Wow. So, we're flying to London tonight. We don't know what we'll arrive to. We're still really excited about the trip, but sad and scared for everyone in London who lived through the terror and chaos of today. Wish us well, and I'll post again in a couple weeks when we return. Hopefully without MS stories ;)
Hello from the Elbe River in Hamburg, Germany! The boat has left this port and we're on our way to Rotterdamn :) Having a blast and thought I would post a link to some pics we've posted of our journey so far.
I'll post again when we get home on friday :) Hope everyone is well and healthy.
Just leaving the little town of Gouda in The Netherlands! Mmmm... I love cheese.
Hello! We're home from our trip and not too jet lagged! What a bonus. The jet lag to London was pretty crazy for my body to adjust to. Its an 8 hour difference so at night I felt awake and during the day felt all sleepy. It took about 3 days to get through it. Here's a quick recap of the good:
LONDON: We landed a day after the bombings and you wouldn't have known it. What a resilient country and people. We did a lot of walking around in Picadilly Circus, The Westend, Trafalgar Square ect. Took the Double decker bus tour around the city and saw the play Blood Brothers. The bus took us past Hyde Park where the Live 8 concert was held just the weekend before. The stage was still up and all the fencing. Love London, although we were happy to get on the boat and get the trip started.
BRUGGE: We fell in love with Belgium, specifically downtown Brugge. The canals are gorgeous, the markets are so great and the fact that cars aren't prominent is just the best. Its so quiet! Horse drawn buggies and bikes everywhere. It's no wonder everyone looks so much healthier there. The architecture was most impressive. I took an insane amount of photos there. Begium waffles were being sold out the window of store fronts. And yes, I bought some chocolate. And its damn good.
OSLO: Tiny country of Norway and small city of Oslo was pretty cool. It was quite north so the day light lasted forever. We went to the Vigeland scuplture park, the 1952 Olympic ski park in Hollemkollen and an open air folk museum. All very cool sites. We were in downtown Oslo at 8:30am and it was a ghost town. They don't start their work day until 10am. Now that's civilized!
COPENHAGEN: Yup, birth place of Hans Christian Anderson and the real Little Mermaid. We went to see her and walked around what looked just like our sea wall in Stanley Park. Beautiful. We didn't have a tour booked in Denmark so just wondered on our own.
HAMBURG: Tod ate a hamburger in Hamburg. :) Fun. I wasen't able to get around much to see Germany (more on that in a minute), but Tod made his way to the subway and wandered a bit.
GOUDA: The Netherlands! Yay! We landed in Rotterdam and made our way on a tour to the little town of Gouda. Yes, where the cheese was named from. But, get this, the cheese is NOT made in Gouda! Gouda was just the place where all the farmers gathered to sell it! Anyways, their city was beautiful and they live below sea level, so it was facinating to learn about how they do that with all the canals and water locks. And again, most people were on bikes and not cars and it was quiet in the city center. We bought lots of cheese, which is my all time fav food! A Shanty choir sang us out as the boat left which had the whole boat clapping and waving with them. It was quite the send off that we'll never forget!
LE HAVRE: Last port of call in France. It was about 3 hours each way to Paris so we opted out of doing that and decided to wander in downtown Le Havre. Beautiful bustling little port city.
And now we're home. Ahhh... its always nice to come home isn't it? The downfall on the trip of course was my back. I was really dumb and decided to "treat" myself to a massage on the boat. Remind me to never do that again. I must have got the most inexperienced massage therapist and he managed to send my back into spasm to the point where I could hardly walk. I had massive bruising on my back to the length of about 6 inches. Every step shot pain to my lumber and I'm certain my bad disc (L5) was either bulging, slipped or herniating. It SUCKED. I ended up at the doctors on the ship and he gave me some anti-inflamatories and muscle relaxants. That at least took the edge off so I could contiure on with the trip, but I'm dying for a proper massage with my own. It's booked for tomorrow.
On a brighter note, no MS symptoms really (unless one considers a back spasm a part of MS which I'm uncertain of). I lucked out and we had weather that only got as hot as 23. Yay. I went in the hot tub on the boat too and didn't overheat :)
Oh, and the Harry Potter book arrived (thanks for not posting spoilers on your blog Heather!) Time to start laundry.
GM's Fastlane Blog
I'm finally checking email today and received one from a Public Relations company working on behalf of GM's Fastlane Blog. Strange. I didn't know companies were now using us bloggers to advertise. Here's the email in it's entirety:
Hey, Kim. I thought you and your readers would be interested in a
recent post on GM's FastLane blog -- GM engineer Joe Katona writes
about his son's recent spinal cord injury and asks forfeedback from
readers with mobility needs.
Anyways, regardless of my feelings on being GM's mode of FREE advertising, if we MSer's want a say in something we could use to help us currently, or in the future I'm all for it. My first thought in more comfy cars for mobility issues would be to have a seat that pivots outwards to the door so when you get out you don't have to twist your spine or anything. That'd be nice.
walk thinking it would slip on properly. And of course, I feel like any normal
person would have had enough balance to not have fallen over, but not I! As
soon as I felt my ankle start to turn over I made to grab for the door jam that
was right there but then totally collapsed on the floor. My ankles' a bit
sore and puffy today, but I think I slammed my shoulder into the door jam and
so feel all stiff. Actually, I feel a little bitter. I just had a darn good
massage to fix the damage from the cruise! Grr! Back to square one.
Maybe the heat is getting to me :) I see everyone else is blogging about the heat. I'm seeing some new bloggers out there too. And some older ones not around anymore. I haven't seen Emily or Tee lately. Cheers to you both if your reading.
I have the day off tomorrow and am going to attempt to get to the pool for a swim. We did that last night and boy did it feel good to cool down and be weightless :)
Results from 7100 patient study of interferons
More than 7100 patients have been participating in the study. The investigators
found minimal changes in the patients' disability, on average, after two
years of therapy. The percentage of patients who became relapse-free after two
years of therapy was about 48 percent in the group taking Avonex, approximately
46 percent in the group taking Betaseron, and about 44 percent and approximately
38 percent in the groups taking the 22-microgram and 44-microgram doses of Rebif,
In the follow-up group, the percentage of relapse-free patients after two years of therapy ranged from 36 percent for those taking Avonex to about 34 percent for those in the Rebif group.
"Efficacy was similar among patients treated with the four different interferon-beta preparations in different countries," the researchers wrote. "Switching between different interferon preparations did not appear to provide additional benefits."
Interferon beta preparations are widely used as first-line therapy for people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, experts say. In clinical studies, they have been shown to reduce relapse rates and delay the disease's progression by approximately a third.2,3
"These results suggest that higher doses and frequencies of interferon beta may not necessarily be better when you take into account Ã‰ that patients treated with Avonex could have significant advantages in the long term due to the treatment's low incidence of neutralizing antibodies and its once-weekly dosing, which encourages better long term adherence to therapy," Limmroth said.